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Modern Pentecost’s Use of an Anglican’s Missionary Method

In this interesting article about Assemblies of God missionaries to Latin America Melvin and Lois Hodges, this observation:

Melvin and Lois Hodges teamed with veteran missionary Ralph Williams, who practiced English missionary Roland Allen’s philosophy of indigenous principles. While ministering in Nicaragua, Hodges was given an opportunity to put into practice these principles, which Allen called “the missionary methods of St. Paul.” He established a Bible school in Matagalpa and ministered to native Nicaraguans.

Roland Allen’s work was, in my opinion, the single most important missiological work of the last century, and the churches that adopted it experienced growth whose effects can be seen at the present.

Although Allen’s idea is certainly rooted in the New Testament (including the day of Pentecost itself) Pentecostal churches took up his idea (consciously or not) out of necessity as much as anything else. Lacking the home base funding and infrastructure of churches such as the Presbyterian, Anglican/Episcopal, Baptist or even their near antecedents the Methodists, Pentecostal churches had little choice other than getting those in the field up to speed quickly and on their own resources.

It’s interesting to note that Allen died in 1947 in Nairobi, Kenya, which is the centre of the current controversy over women in the Anglican episcopate.

A summary of Allen’s life can be found here.


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